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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Last King Of Scotland - 70s retro
Set in 1970, this film follows the adventures of newly-qualified doctor Nicholas Garrigan (played by James McAvoy) as he seeks something racier than following his father into the family practice. More or less at random he picks work as an overseas medical officer in Uganda. On the bus into the country he declares, on sighting his first monkey, "if we had monkeys in...
Published on 23 Oct 2007 by G. Wood

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Whitaker 5*s. Film 3*s.
Forest Whitaker is outstanding, totally convincing and deserving of all the honours that came his way. Quite superb! I could give the film 5*s based on his performance. However....

James Mcavoy struggled hard with a weak character. It was hard to believe that someone so naive could have risen so far in such a government. His motivation seemed to be little more...
Published on 6 Oct 2011 by I. Craft


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film and a must buy, 21 July 2010
By 
Ben Nicholson "Benkernow" (Cornwall, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last King Of Scotland [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
The amazion description tell's you what it's about so I just tell what I think of it. It is has a brilliant cast and the acting is really good. The script is well written and is a terrific portrayal of a true story. It deserved all the awards it got and probably deserved more. A must buy, it will be worth it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Things fall apart, 27 Feb 2008
By 
K. Hannay "kh014u5746" (yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last King Of Scotland [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Like many other people, I found Forest Whitaker's performance compelling and disturbing. I think James McAvoy's character suffer by comparison, although he plays it well enough and is good to look at, he is in many ways merely a plot device. It's one of the few films I have seen recently where I have felt compelled to watch the extras - Whitaker's mixed emotions about portraying an African as a monstrous dictator, Jon Snow's insights into Britain's complicity and hypocrisy, the very mixed opinions of the Ugandan people themselves about the man. One other reviewer senses some Anglophobia but I think there is a more subtle undermining of sweeping generalisations (no Scottish people are racist, for example, because they have suffered British imperialism), although I must admit, that short of casting Alan Rickman dressed as Snape, the British Embassy figure could have scarcely been more dislikable. The strength of this film is that it portrys a character who is seen as a caricature in the West as very human; it's weakness may be that in doing this it plays down the many atrocities for which he was responsible. But like Leonard Cohen said when describing the average height, build and intelligence of the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichman - 'what did you expect? Talons? Huge incisors?'
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last King of Scotland, 26 April 2007
By 
ray dorrity "ray dorrity" (New Forest, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last King Of Scotland [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Watching this movie transported me back 30 odd years in time.

Forest Whitaker IS Idi Amin.

I can remember watching the real Amin being interviewed on TV in the '70's and thinking that he just seemed a likeable bafoon. Whitaker catches his every expression, even down to the silly smile Amin had.

I've always liked Whitaker since seeing him in the likes of "Good Morning Vietnam" (playing an American soldier) and "The Crying Game" (playing a British soldier).

Whitaker is probably the best Black actor around and deserved his Oscar.

Get the movie and ENJOY!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forest Whitaker's Idi Amin dominates in terrific film., 11 May 2007
By 
film fan (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last King Of Scotland [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This was a film I wanted to see at the cinema and I'm so glad I did. This is a terrific film about how Doctor Garrigan (James McAvoy) decides to go to Uganda and ends up being the personal physician and confidante to the dictator, Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). When Garrigan tries to leave, Idi Amin has other plans up his sleeve....

Based on real and actual events, The Last King of Scotland is a terrific and finely handled drama. The director Kevin MacDonald, who's first feature this is, does a wonderful job with the material. The immense and grandstanding performance from Forest Whitaker takes the plaudits and deservedly so. He is well supported by James McAvoy as Garrigan. But the best single performance I've seen in the last 10 years or so is that of Forest Whitaker's Idi Amin. This performance has got to be rated as one of the best single performances in recent years. A great and flawless performance.

This film is very good indeed and it had me gripped from the opening sequence all the way through to the end. I felt the film was also helped by a good soundtrack featuring music from the period and also excerpts from the original score. All in all, this film was one of the best films of 2006 thanks largely to Forest Whitaker's grandstanding performance.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointing Let Down, 29 Jan 2009
This review is from: The Last King Of Scotland [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
I agree that Forest Whitaker's performance as Idi Amin was truly spectacular. But having expected to see a damning exposé of the child-like dictator's atrocities, the film was in fact the story of Nicholas Garrigan's 'Journey to Damascus,' idolising Amin as the saviour of Uganda until the scales finally fell from his eyes.

Of course, the character's journey could be seen as a metaphor of how we in the 'Developed' world turn a blind eye to these crimes until they affect us directly.

After all, like Robert Mugabe's brutal dictatorship in Zimbabwe at this moment, it seems as if no one in Europe would ever have heard of Amin unless a tiny fraction of his victims were white. So whilst this film was a real experience and did what it set out to do, I was still left wishing that it had been shot from the perspective of Gillian Anderson's character; the American doctor who would no doubt have seen the atrocities of Amin's supporters first hand.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Verra good, 1 Oct 2007
This review is from: The Last King Of Scotland [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This is one of the few cases where I'd actually say that the movie is better then the book. Not that the book was bad, at all, but it just didn't have the impact.

Forest Whitaker deserves every bit of praise received. His performance was golden. It is his performance as the scary Idi Amin that brings this film to live. His presence in this film steals the show. James McAvoy was of course brilliant - but his character was out shone by the sheer force of presence that was Idi Amin. He felt very real.

It is a FICTIONALISED story for your information. Idi Amin is of course real - but Nicolas was made up. So don't think you're getting some biopic real life account of the exact history that passed. Nicolas is merely a vehicle to bring you to Idi Amin and his despicable rule of Uganda.

So, watch the film and then read the book. I'd recommend the book as well, but I found the movie much better. That's just my opinion though.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE'S, MISS IT-MISS OUT!, 11 July 2007
By 
K. bruce "BubbleWorm" (U.K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last King Of Scotland [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
**WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS TOWARD THE END**
To miss this movie based on some of the reviews it has received would be a crime! you need to get the film and watch it yourself, entering into the world of "the last king of Scotland" with an open, clear mind. indeed i am not very well educated in the topic of history and politics therefore i
did not get the same lack lustre feelings as others did toward the fictional character of mcavoy. at first i though this film was nothing but a mere political comedy-having no idea what it was about! but boy was i wrong! i was soon on the edge of my seat gripped by the horror that the movie suddenly plunged me into! given that i did not even know of the character that Whittaker was playing, i am glad now that i have a little insight into the character that he was, eccentric and a little crazy as some may put it, although i can't seem to dislike him given the performance given by Whiticar, even when he is at his cruelest and most twisted state of mind. i find myself agreeing with another reviewer who stated that they felt nothing for the Scottish doctor, as i seemed to feel more sympathy for the president, feeling that he once had good intentions but became delusional and paranoid, which could happen to any of us given that much power, which i also feel was an intentional move by the white men of power who put him there as is suggested in the film, even though part fictional, the war on racism has never and will never end and i can't help but feel he was put there in that position deliberately in the hope that he would self destruct and take out a few thousand fellow brothers with him.

(SPOILER PARAGRAPH BELOW)

the person i felt sorry for in the end was the guy who helped the doctor escape, he could have let him die but instead risked his life for him and for the truth to be known, which i found very touching. another scene that really shocked me, (emotionally- because i love romantic endings! and this just kills off that idea!) and sent shudders down my spine was the way in which the presidents wife's dead body was displayed! whoa! that was creepy, in a voodoo type of way, i got the creeps just for looking!

(^^^END SPOILER PARAGRAPH^^^)

i also felt that Gillian Anderson's character would have some significance or would come in to help at some point but she did nothing and barely featured, it did make her seem a bit, pointless.
none the less this film is well worth watching, definitely not "one to avoid" as some may state, Whittaker's performance was absolutely outstanding, i completely forgot who he was as he was so convincing in his role, he brought the president (sorry can't remember his name) across with integrity, comical moments demonstrating his utter weirdness, and passion and conviction in every second he was on screen! excellent!
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars beware if you are squeemish!!!!!, 16 May 2007
This review is from: The Last King Of Scotland [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This film must have affected me. I watched it lastnight and it's been on my mind all day. I don't particularly want to repeat what everybody else has said in their reviews, but just to say, it is an incredibly powerful film with acting fabulous throughout.

If however, like me, you are not a horror/gore fan, or do not like overtly violent films, pleeeeeese be careful watching a couple of scenes in this film. Especially the final scene where Nicholas is tortured. I found it incredibly shocking and disturbing. I've never seen anything like it.

If I had known about this beforehand I would have avoided the film, though I am glad I watched it, but for those of you with reservations towards violence/disturbing scenes, don't let it stop you from watching the film, just watch out...... :-S
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evokes memories of Africa, 9 Jun 2007
By 
Mr. M. Kearle (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last King Of Scotland [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
As a European who lived in East Africa for many years (and married an African woman) this film brings back many memories of the rich red soil of Africa, the colour and vivacity of African life, old erotic adventures and (sadly) the tragic betrayal of Africa's people by their leaders.

Forest Whitaker is superb as Amin whose dark chrisma and gravity draws the young Scot Dr Nicolas into his orbit. From his uniquely priviledged position as Amin's personal physician Dr Nic is able to witness the ruin of Uguanda (300,000 died under Amin).

A very good film but I have a few reservations

Dr Nicolas seems too young and 'green' to ever have been admitted to Amin's inner circle

The voice of African women is not heard in the film

The downfall of Amin is traced to the Israeli rescue of hostages from Entebee with no mentioin of the Tanzanian invasion that toppled the tyrant. Must Africans always be depicted as in need of rescue by whites?
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ugandan discussions, 4 Mar 2008
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last King Of Scotland [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This is a film of two halves. Forrest Whittaker as Idi Amin is an astonishing performance that takes one back to the real man; he imposes himself physically and mentally on the whole film. How unfortunate therefore that so much of the film is James McAvoy smirking fit to bust and playing a thoroughly unbelievable character very loosely based on a much more interesting real person. I am not sure if it is the script or the actor who is to blame, or whether no-one would prevail alongside Whittaker, but sadly it misses opportunities while tantalising with what it could have been.
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